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The Bevan – Power Moves

Part X

Trinity smirked at her Uncle’s last “Stay out of mischief!” comment and watched them all go into the conference room, and the door close. One big guard going in, and one blocking the door from outside.

Trinity looked at the wall mural and found what looked to her like the beginning of a story, and started trying to picture what was going on in the painting. As she studied the painting, Trinity was drawn in to the scenes of battle, towns being built and destroyed, knights battling men and other odd looking creatures, there were even dragons. At times the knights and soldiers looked to be winning, and further in time, they looked to be losing. She slowly moved down the wall and saw a chamber with a throne-like seat made from what looked like the roots of a tree, still growing its tendrils into the earth, all around it. Trinity studied the scene, it was similar to the one on the tunnel wall, only this one had a woman sitting on the throne, dressed in blue leather armor that was glowing, then Trinity realized the woman was not only sitting on the throne, it appeared as if the throne was blending with her. The story continued, and Trinity was looking at a huge battle scene, soldiers, knights and weird creatures were all battling, and in the background was the very same fortress that she was in. The soldiers and knights were defending the fortress while the creatures and even men were attacking. The defenders were outnumbered, and were being slowly driven back towards the river surrounding the fortress. From the fortress she could see hundreds of arrows flying, and striking the enemy. One archer, standing on the parapet stood out from all the others, he was tall, and held a longbow. Trinity could see his arrow in flight flashed a greenish tint in the sunlight, on its way to strike an apparent leader. The bowman took his time, like a sniper, and continually shot anyone that looked like they were giving orders. Trinity noticed vaguely, that his outfit resembled her Uncle Lee’s, right down to the soft moccasin style boots. She slowly moved along the wall, seeking something that would give her a clue as to how they could end this conflict, and she could tell her uncle she found it.

Inside the conference, Lee was filled in on several steps that the Treslanders were taking in preparation for more conflict. Though never directly asked, Lee could feel tension in the air as the conversation wound it’s way towards the secret chamber, the throne and it’s use throughout their recorded time. Lee found out that the Premier and his family had been, for as long as the records go back, guarding the throne, and protecting those that could control its power. One of which, was killed by a betrayal, but not before she had a child, who in turn had children, to keep the line going. Now as another lifetime rolls past, the Treslanders look to the legends and myths to help protect them. Lee knew where the conversation was headed. Eventually, it would come to Elena, and when she would come to take her place on the throne and restore peace. Lee redirected the conversation for the moment, away from that, and asked who was the most likely responsible, for this latest outbreak of violence, and where on the map on the table did they think he or she was holed up. The others around the table all looked perplexed and unsure how to proceed, then the Premier said, “We are not exactly sure. We have heard rumors of one of the expelled wizards stirring up this last round of violence”. The Premier continued, “We are not sure how that is possible, as it was ages ago when they were expelled. I have begun sending scouts out, in hopes of gathering more information, so we can have a better picture. It will take time though”.

Lee nodded in affirmation, “It’s a big place, I suppose, so I think you’re right in trying to get information. At least then we have a direction to go. I know you all wish Elena would just come here, and somehow do whatever is done to make this go away, but I will not bring her or anyone else besides Trinity, through the portals, until I know for certain what we are up against, and how we are going to keep them safe.” With that Lee looked each member in the room, straight in the eyes, to make sure they understood.

“I have my own reasons for bringing Trinity, and she and I alone know them. She also understands the risks, and I think can help me figure this puzzle out”. Lee looked at Falan and asked, “What have you found out about what I saw during the attack?” Falan glanced around and looked a bit pale.

“What is he referring to, Falan?” asked the Premier. Falan looked past Lee at Trendar, who was pacing around in the background, then at the Premier

“Sir, I request before we discuss this, the room is cleared except for yourself, Lee, Rotar and me.” Trendar visibly stiffened when he heard Falan’s request to the Premier, and started to object, but the Premier nodded at Falan.

“Clear this room immediately. Guards, make sure no one enters until I say”, commanded the Premier. The guards snapped into action and hustled the scribes and servants out, along with Trendar, who was glaring at those who remained. Falan waited until all were gone, and even then he hesitated, as he then explained what he was told by Lee to the Premier. Lee waited with interest, on whatever new information Falan had learned.

Trinity faintly heard the commotion of people exiting the private room behind her, as she studied the wall mural, when suddenly she felt the armor she was wearing stiffen, and she was quite startled by it. She glanced at it under her cloak, and it appeared as if it were faintly glowing a red hue! Then she heard, “Hello! If it isn’t the curious artist!” behind her, and immediately she jerked the cloak closed, recognizing the voice as the same one in the hall earlier.

Trinity turned and smiled, “Hello, again. I thought you would be in the ‘big meeting’?”She saw the anger in his eyes, belying the fake smile he had on his face.

“My services were not needed at this time, so I am taking a break.” Trendar replied.

Trinity could tell he was fuming behind the smile, “That’s cool. I’m sure you are not missing any important stuff,” as she turned back to the painting.

Trinity was just starting to focus on the painting again, when suddenly raised voices came from the secure room, and she heard “TRENDAR!!! Get in here now!!!!” And at the same time, she was shoved forcefully from behind, into the wall which was opening into a dark room or hall, and then closed behind her, with Trendar locked inside the hall with her.

Trinity stumbled forward and rolled, popping up on her feet, facing Trendar in the dark room. She could hear shouts, and banging on the closed hidden door. “It’s just you and me young artist,” Trendar said sarcastically. “I have to wonder, why of all the people the Bevan knows, why he brought you, hmmm?”

She kept silent, as she looked for a way out or a way to open the door. Trinity watched him, as she was searching, and she kept quiet as he kept asking questions of her, yet more or less to himself. “He has so many warrior friends.” Seeing her look of surprise, he explained, “Oh, yes. I know all about the Bevan and his life through the portal. They are not the only ones who can travel back and forth. Some of us have done it for ages…”. He suddenly cut himself off, realizing he had perhaps revealed too much.

Trinity had been scanning the dark room for a way out, and found it to her right. It was a dark corridor, but it was at least an option, if she could not get the door she was pushed through, back open. She could feel the leather armor pulse, and the arm gauntlets tighten on her, and she was glad her cloak was closed as not to reveal it to Trendar. She wasn’t sure why, but she thought it best kept secret from him, for the time being.

“Oh, there’s hundreds of ways out, but I am afraid I can’t let you go, until I get what I need.” taunted Trendar, as if he could read her thoughts. “So, tell me, young artist, why did the Bevan bring you, instead of anyone else!?” his voice taking taking on a very sinister tone, echoing deep through the dark room. His eyes were seeming to glow a dull orange.

Trinity inwardly gasped at the change, and her vest and gauntlets all stiffened, and could she feel them warm, as her hands slipped back behind her, and she gripped the handles of her blades. “Why don’t you ask him?” she inquired in exasperation. Following up in a firm, but shaky voice “Or are you scared to?”

Trinity saw his head snap up, and he growled, “Watch your words, Child, you have no idea what I am or what I am capable of!!”

Trinity caught the slip of “What I am” instead of “Who I am” and she saw Trendar’s eyes seem to glow dark red, and she suddenly saw the knife in his hand, long curved and thin dark yellowish colored blade with cryptic symbols on it. She also noticed his hands did not look normal, they had super thick-looking skin, and his fingernails were round, and pointed like an animal’s. Trinity backed farther away, as Trendar appeared to slowly get taller, and bigger, and more like a creature, compared to how he previously appeared.

“Now you will tell me what I want to know, or you will suffer great pain, and agony, and in the end, you will tell me anyway!!” roared Trendar in the tunnel. Trinity was taken aback by the sheer forcefulness of his voice. She moved parallel in the room, to gain distance, as it was longer than it was wide. She suddenly felt somehow lighter, and the armor that Jondar had given her started vibrating against her, and she could “feel” as if it were alive!

Trinity slid the blades from their sheathes on her back, and moved to a guard stance. “I’m not sure who…what you are, but I’m telling you nothing, and I’m leaving! So, get open that door, or I will when you’re gone”

Trendar saw the black blades, and had a sudden thought that he had seen them before in the past, but could not place them at the moment. His eyes narrowed, as his glance caught a glimpse of what looked like leather armor under her cloak. “I see that old fool Jondar has been meddling again. It won’t help you, in the end. You will see”.

Trinity did not answer. She held her guard position, trying to see what he would try first. She knew he was stronger and much bigger, but she relied on her speed to make up the difference. Remembering what her Uncle said, “Fast and violent is the advantage,” she readied herself for his first move.

It came so fast, she almost missed blocking it. She was dumbfounded at the lightening speed of his attack. Trendar thrust his short sword straight at her right arm, not trying to kill her, but to disarm her. Trinity had her right arm bent at the elbow across her body with her blade up protecting her chest, and her left arm out in front, pointing at him.

Her defense was to pivot her right side back and away, and thrust at his blade with her left blade. The effect knocked his blade off line, and past her arched body, as she spun around to face him again, while he drew back from the thrust, and swiped his sword again, at where her arm would have been.

Trinity realized that despite being big and ugly, her opponent had really good skill, and she was evenly matched, much to her surprise, as she thought of him, previously, as kind of weak the few times she saw him.

Trendar did not hesitate. He again attacked, this time swiping at one of her legs, and she dropped a blade down and flat against her thigh, as his blade struck, blocking it from cutting. She immediately swiped at the blade hand with her other knife, but he pivoted away. Trinity took the opportunity to sling her cloak off, and at him for a distraction, but she didn’t need to, as Trendar saw her exposed armor, with it’s glowing reddish hue, and he visibly paled. She heard him mutter, “Lost defenders’ armor! It’s not possible!”

He again stabbed at her arm, straight thrust — not holding back, the tip striking her left gauntlet, but it did not penetrate the leather, but instead, the force shoved her arm into her mid section. Trinity gasped at the force of the blow. She just knew she had to be deeply cut, but the gauntlet vibrated on her arm. and the armor did the same on her chest, and torso. She reacted instinctively, and spun her other blade in an arc in front of herself, striking his wrist, and the blade not even slowing as it cut through the skin, muscle and bone, severing his hand at the wrist.

Trendar roared in pain, stumbling back, gripping his wrist, and screaming so loud the walls felt like they were vibrating, as he stumbled and staggered backwards, turning to run down the tunnel.

“Lost defender or not, I’ll have my revenge!!!!!!”. Trinity kicked his severed hand away, and stood there trembling for a couple minutes, unsure If she should go after him, or try and get out.

As Falan revealed what he had learned of Trendar, the Premeir grew stiffer and more angry. “That man has been by mine and my family’s side, longer than I can remember!” he growled. “You’re telling me, that he could possibly be the reason we are again at war? A spy? A traitor??” He continued, “Get him back in here IMMEDIATELY!!” bellowed the Premier. “Guards!” he shouted, and the doors were forcefully opened, and the other guard came in, sword drawn, scanning for an enemy and looking to protect the Premier. As the guard rushed in, Lee, Falan, and Rotar all spotted Trendar standing behind Trinity, by the mural, and as the Premier shouted “Trendar?!? Get in here now!!!”

But, before they could act, the wall seemed to part, and Trendar shoved Trinity into the dark void, and followed. Then, as quickly as it opened, the passage shut again, not leaving so much as a hint of where it was! Lee and the others rushed over and shoved and pushed on the walls to no avail.

The Premier said, “How did he know of these passages? They were supposed to be sealed after the priests were banished. If he knows of these, the treachery is worse than I thought. He may have found passage to the Chamber!”

The Premier continued as he quickly made his way back into the meeting hall, “Rotar, get your trusted guards and secure the Chamber at all costs!” Lee was still trying to find a way into the passage to help Trinity, and only left that when the Premier called to him, “Bevan? You will not get in that way, come, we will get the old text, and find a way in. It would be easier if there were someone that knew the old passages.”

Rotar left to assemble the guards for the protection of the Chamber, while the others looked through a huge, old, hand-written book, that had hand drawn maps, and what looked like incantations all written in a dialect foreign to Lee. The page was turned and Lee immediately saw the mural room, and there was the open passage with more foreign writing. Falan asked, “Can you read this, Premier?”

“Some, I can,” answered the Premier, “These tell of the uses of the passes and the meaning of the murals. I’ve read this, when I was but a lad. The others are in a language of the priests, and I cannot decipher.”

Lee was becoming more frustrated by the second, and said “The let’s get some tools, and some men, and knock a hole in the wall! My young kin is trapped in this space with him, and we need to get in there NOW!” Lee walked back out of the doorway and was surprised to see Jondar coming into the mural room.

“Rotar told me what happened. I came as quickly as I could.” Jondar explained. The Premier and Falan had come back into the room, joining Lee and Jondar. The Premier carried the ancient text. Jondar saluted him, “Sir, unless you can speak the language of the priests, you will not get that door open with that book. It was written for them to use to pass on the escape and spy routes.” As he was talking, Jondar was running his hand over the mural, where the hidden door was, and said, “Some of these passages were used after the priests were expelled, but not for spying or escaping, but for quick movement of the Lost Defenders”. As he said that, he pushed a spot with his finger on the mural and the door flung open!

Trinity heard a click behind her, and quickly spun bringing her weapons up to her guard position, not yet sure if Trendar had somehow managed to get behind her and open a new passage. Jondar, her Uncle Lee, and Falan, all came rushing in! Trinity dropped her guard and Lee grabbed her, “Are you ok? No injuries? What happened?”

Before Trinity could reply, Jondar said, “It looks as though Trendar is a SkinWalker, and not who he seemed,” as he pointed his short sword at the severed hand and knife. Jondar retrieved the knife and looked at the inscriptions and designs. “Nothing of interest. It’s all curses for it’s victims, more important, is the fact that a SkinWalker still survives. They were thought to be hunted to the last one, ages ago. Very powerful they are, very skilled, but not, I see, a match for you, young lady,” he said to Trinity. “I was correct when I sensed something in you, and I am justified in giving you the armor of the Lost Defenders for sure now. Premier, there’s not much hope of catching him, but I will follow and see what I can find, if that is your wish?”

“Yes, Jondar, take who you need, and find that traitor and destroy it, or bring it before me!” directed the Premier.

Jondar saluted and rapidly walked out of the room, headed to his quarters to get his weapons and gear, “I’ll be back in a couple minutes,” he said as he left.

Falan had gone a short way down the tunnel and came back, “He’s leaving a trail a blind Brak could follow, maybe he will bleed out before too far,” he said.

Jondar came back in as he said that, and replied, “SkinWalkers rarely die easily, they take a lot of killing. I’ve seen SkinWalkers take on entire squads and win. I’ve seen them stuck full of holes that no one would survive, and they just kept going. I’m hopeful his injury slows him down, but I have little hope he’s expired.” Everyone turned as Jondar walked back in the room, wearing bronze colored leather armor with dark red highlights, he had a short spear in his left hand, and a sword in his right, on his back were two short doubled-bladed axes.

Falan immediately snapped a salute, as the Premier said, “Not since I was a child, have I seen the armor of the Lost Defenders’ Destroyer Squad, Jondar. I was wondering how you knew so much about the shapeshifter and the hidden passages. It is truly an honor to be in your presence, I had thought that line was gone long ago.”

Jondar inclined his head in a slight bow, “There are, as you see Premier, still a few of us left. We remain hidden, but ready to serve when needed. We watch, teach, and always prepare, and try to find those with the inherited talent to become a Lost Defender.” As he spoke he was looking straight at Trinity. “Tell me, Trinity, did you feel anything unusual when you were in danger? Anything at all?”

Everyone in the room was suddenly looking at Trinity, and she blushed a little, but quickly spoke up, “The armor, it felt, how do I describe it? Before I knew he was there the armor tightened, then during the fight, it constantly felt like it was changing, like it was ALIVE!” she exclaimed.

Jondar nodded, “Then you truly have inherited your skill from a Lost Defender, for only with them does the armor meld with so completely. Now, I must go, if I hope to have any chance of catching him in the fortress. I will report back with any news.”

The Premier nodded, and as Jondar started down the passage, Lee, Falan and even Trinity all said, “You can’t go alone!”

“This is what I do,” Jondar explained looking back at them over his shoulder, “what I’ve always done, protect at all costs, from evil, this fortress, and it’s Premier, and family. You three must now find what it is you are supposed to do,” looking at Trinity again, “If what I suspect about you is true, your job is here as a Defender. There will come a time you will have to make an impossible decision, but this isn’t it.”

With that, Jondar walked into the dimly lit passage.

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Always

Peach says

Pretty sure this was taken by our almost three old grandson, Lukie Poo 💚

A solitary son

No sisters

No brothers

Him and his parents

Thank God for cousins

He had so much heart

Too much to be alone

Paid his way from 10 years old

Learned how to defend himself through grit and necessity

All his life before his wife, God was preparing him for his job

There would be a woman, young, broken and beautiful who needed him and his love and his patience

Together they would beat the odds and make a life and build a family

They would together discover a stained glass faith, with solemn and steadfast prayer as it’s heartbeat

He was fiercely loyal and tenderly kind

Always forgiving

Always loving

Always kind

He once had a red corvette

Boy, was he fine in that ride!

You never had to wonder where he was

Or what he was doing

He was an open book

And a steady hand

Just a glance and you were corrected, as he gently tugged on his mustache

He was generous and frugal all at the same time

He was old school in every way and we are richer for it

As the years rolled by the world grew alarming

He wanted better for his family but knew he couldn’t stop it

So he prayed

Often three times a day

For the world, for his family, for the Church

He’d forget to eat

But never forget the coffee

His loving nature and nurturing ability caused a crowded, beautiful menagerie of a garden in the back yard. Two green thumbs. Something he inherited from his father

Without him the family cannot be the same

Of course

His was the heart that pumped the blood that fed our hearts

Now we must carry on, each with the parts of him we got

Be steady

Be kind

Pray

Love and forgive

We love, we pray, we endeavor to live in a way that honors him

He couldn’t stay another day

It was time for his reward

We understood the need to go, we do not begrudge the much earned rest

We just wish we could have him for a visit, one more time

One more hug, one more twinkling of an eye, one more slow smile, one more talk, one more walk about the yard

When it’s my turn to come, Daddy O, I hope you put the coffee on for me

It’ll be awhile

A lot left to do

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Blooming

My gardenia bush!! My Dad started it for me. I think about 12 years ago or so? It’s magnificent! It’s like a big ‘I Love You’ from Heaven, and I love it!

Peach here –

It’s good and Spring now! It took awhile but it’s really here now!

Yellow Hibiscus! I’m in love!

We picked up a couple of blueberry bushes and some more hibiscus (the yellow, some of them above).

Jerry got them planted this week and mulched. He is quite the gardener! Have I mentioned that I’m totally nuts about him? 😍

I just don’t think there’s anything prettier!

I don’t know if it’s the mood I’m in this year, or the age I’m getting to, but I LOVE flowers!! Flowers, flowers, flowers!

This lady is from our Fire and Ice Hibiscus and it is just stellar!! I highly recommend!

Spring is a season of transition, of hope, of promise of things to come, signs of life, renewal, newness of life, out with old, in with the new, cleaning up, clearing out.

It can be a lot. But, there’s also, a lot that it can be!

I love the holidays AND winter so much. It’s often hard for me to let go of winter and embrace the change and newness of Spring

But, I’m determined to not be that person stuck in the past. To value, appreciate and enjoy the past while fully rooted in the now, and reaching forward to the promise of the future!

Nature teaches us to embrace the cycle of life. It’s our example from the Lord for our good!

This! This is our Hawaiian Hibiscus!! When it opens it will be yellow with a pink center!!! I mean, 🤗?!

Like the flower above, the full goodness of what’s in store ahead does not yet appear, but we can trust our Good Father for the Ephesians 3:20 — “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” of life! If it’s not good yet, hold on, trust Him and SEE what He does!

More blooming going on! 🥰
His first time in the water and he loves it!!! 😍
Water baby!
Da Sugar Boogars!! 🤗
The little Easter Bunny!!
These two are going to be so much fun in years to come!
Resurrection Sunday!! Much fun was had by all!

We had a grand ole time on Easter Sunday with all the kids! The Dads hid the eggs and the Moms stuffed the eggs! Then we let loose the hordes and the kids found the eggs!!

While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” — Genesis 8:22.

Thanks for stopping by!

Love, peace, and blooming flowers,

Peach

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Daily Sunrise

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Batman has Published Books

Batman says:

I was encouraged by Peach many years ago to put some of my thoughts on Firearms Instruction into a book form. If you know me you would realize how funny the thought of me writing a book on anything actually was. But being a good husband I started to write things down (yes, I actually know how to write, do they still even teach that in school?) and eventually had enough material for a book. This lead to finding out how to actually get the book out there for people to see. Amazon publishing’s program was the answer for me, straightforward and easy to figure out the basics. Funny, now I’m up to 3 books, and even though the masses are not rushing to buy them, I get a bit of satisfaction knowing I did that, and it’s all because I hate to disappoint my beautiful Peach. You get bored, check them out if nothing else they have cool covers.

Natural Shooting, Ramblings of a Country Boy, and Morning’s Glory are all on Amazon, and coming soon the full version of “The Bevan”.

Morning’s Glory

Ramblings of a Country Boy
Natural Shooting

“See Peach, I did it”

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The Bevan- Spy Exposed

Part IX

As they exited the portal Lee, Trinity and Rotar stopped and waited. “You could have told us it was raining” Lee said as he and Trinity pulled their cloak over their heads.

“I would have had I known it was raining” smiled Rotar, as he too, pulled on his hood, to cover up from the rain drops the size of acorns. “Come on,” he said “Let’s get moving before the rain slacks. It will cover any noise, and hide any sign we ever passed.”

The three started off, Rotar in the lead and they wound their way in a large circle, headed up and around a hill. Trinity was silent as she trudged along behind Rotar, and Lee was constantly looking around, and behind, while falling back several yards at times, to listen for any signs of being followed.

About a half mile from the portal they paused in the forest, under the thick canopy which slowed the rain some. Rotar had blended into the dim light, up against a huge tree trunk, and was listening intently, as he was sure he heard something nearby. Lee had stopped about three feet behind Trinity, who was leaning against a different tree, seemingly intently listening, but with her eyes closed and head hung down a little. Lee recognized the pose as one of concentration, and slipped silently, closer on the wet leaves covered ground, moving painstakingly slowly until he speak quietly to her. “Whatever has your interest,” he said, “it appears Rotar has also heard, let’s just relax and see if either of you can find anything, don’t speak, just nod if you understand.”

Trinity had been concentrating on trying to find the sound, so she almost jumped out of her skin when her uncle’s hand touched her shoulder, to alert her quietly as he approached from behind. Once she caught her wits, she nodded almost imperceptibly that she understood.

Lee became hyper-vigilant now, with both Rotar and Trinity possibly hearing something which his partially, deafened ears did not catch. They all stood, melded against the trunks of the ancient trees, as the last of the light faded, and the rain slowed to a drizzle and drips, still listening, seemingly not sure if they should move yet. Rotar ever so slowly started to draw his sword, he was positive that someone or something was approaching . Lee could see Rotar drawing his sword and again put his hand on Trinitys shoulder “Stay here!” he whispered and then slowly faded off into the darkness back the way they had come a bit before.

Trinity kept perfectly still against the tree, and saw Rotar slip off into the brush, with the darkness leaving her alone in the pitch black forest. She suddenly noticed movement in the brush, off to the side of where they had been walking, She could not see if it was Rotar or Lee, or what. The sounds and motions were coming this way, slowly, as if someone was sneaking along and stopping every step, or so. Trinity pressed herself back against the tree more, in an attempt to blend into it and try and remain unnoticed. Then she saw them. Three very big figures coming out into the path from the bushes, and one of them within a couple feet of where she was standing, with it’s back to her. She could hear them speaking to each other, “I tell you they were right around here, I heard them before they stopped,” said the one.

“Yer hearin’ things! They were farther up the trail, I tell ya,” said another. Suddenly, as the three were debating, an arrow struck one in the head, dropping it instantly.

As the other two stared in disbelief, Rotar appeared, sword drawn and Woosh! Down went the second one, while the third stumbled backwards, past Trinity and onto the ground. Rotar moved on to engage the second one, while he still off balance and trying to regain his footing. A heated battle, with swords clanging together, ensued. Rotar parried a sword blow, and quickly reversed his sword angle, chopping off the sword hand of his opponent, then suddenly spinning around to his left and decapitating the creature. Then the third one which had fallen, swiped at Rotar’s leg, striking his shin guard with it’s sword, and the force of the blow knocked Rotar off his feet. Before the last assailant could follow up, another arrow flew into the creature’s chest, flattening it back to the ground.

Lee appeared seconds later, and immediately moving to check on Rotar, who was still on the ground. “I’m fine” Rotar said, “The guard stopped the worst of the blow,”

Lee knelt down and said “Still, we can stop that bleeding, and wrap it up to prevent it getting infected.”As Lee was pulling off his backpack to get insta-clot, and a bandage, he said “It’s ok, Trinity you can move now, kiddo”.

Trinity had watched the quick and brutal battle unfolding within feet of her. She actually wasn’t idle, either. She had drawn the two blades she was given by her uncle, and was trying to figure out how to help, when it was suddenly over. As she was moving forward to help Lee with Rotar, she saw movement on the trail. She was hearing her uncle say it was ok to move, as she realized what she was seeing on the trail, was another of those things that had attacked her Aunt Elena and her back at the house, and it was aiming an arrow at either Rotar or Lee!

Without thinking, and falling back on her practice with swords and knives, Trinity flung a blade towards it, the black steel cutting through the air, without so much as a warning glint, while striking the assassin’s bow string, severing it with its blade, as it slid past, with the knife sinking into the creature’s chest. The Wrack had a look of surprise on its face, as it fell over dead.

Lee and Rotar both dove to opposite sides, as they heard the assassin’s bow string ‘TWANG!’ as it was severed. Trinity stepped out of the shadow of the tree, a bit shaken, but with enough teenage spunk to say in a shaky voice, “It’s ok! You can move now,” to both of them.

Lee glanced at Trinity, then the dead assassin, and resumed bandaging Rotar’s leg, “Nice job, Kiddo,” he said dryly.

Rotar nodded, “Really nice, and thank you. I’m sure we never saw him until you impaled him, and with Tryaks? This is a new alliance that I have not heard of”.

Lee helped him up, glancing at Trinity, who was even in the darkness, a bit pale. and he said to Rotar, “Give me a minute to check on the kid.”

He walked over, and sat down across from Trinity. “You ok, Kiddo? What you did was necessary, do not ever think otherwise. You saved Rotar and, or me, and I for one, am very thankful”.

Trinity looked at him and nodded, “It’s just not like a game, it’s for real. I really did that,” she said with a bit of bewilderment.

“Yes, Kiddo, and I’m sorry you had to. Remember it. Taking life, no matter what the reason, should be hard. But, if it’s to protect someone, it should be done quickly, and with no hesitation, Ok?” asked Lee, “Just like you did.” He assured her.

Trinity paused and looked at the dead assassin, and again nodded, “Ok, I promise, but can you get my knife? I don’t think I’m ready for that yet”.

Lee chuckled a little, “This one time, Kiddo, after that you’re on your own”.

Shortly after, all three resumed their path, Rotar a little slower, and with a limp, but still leading the way. They arrived at the boulder without further incident, and Rotar led the way down, and entered after making sure there was no sign that they could be followed. They quickly entered, going through a series of doors, and trap rooms, until exiting into the chamber, at the tunnel end.

Once there, they were met by Falan, who was up and around already, and two of the staff guards. “Glad to see you up and around, Falan” said Lee, “Hopefully, you can avoid falling from high places in the future!” he laughed.

“Thank you, Bevan” Falan responded, “I agree, I do not want to go through that again! I have bruises on my bruises,” he said. Who do we have here?” Falan asked, looking at Trinity, who was standing beside her Uncle Lee, still with her cloak hood pulled on.

Lee said “Can we discuss this someplace more quiet?”

Falan nodded immediately, “Yes!” and then quickly in a more subdued voice, added “Follow me, I have your quarters ready for you, we can talk there”.

Lee, Trinity, Rotar and Falan all walked through the winding passages, and flickering candle light. As they walked, Lee, Falan and Rotar talked in hushed voices, Lee explaining who Trinity was, but nothing more on why he brought her. Falan revealed what little he found about Trendar, while Trinity looked at dark murals on the walls. Their figures danced in the dim candlelight. She could see that each painting was a person or two, and as they passed a certain one, she stopped for a second, the face looked familiar. She quickly sped to catch up with the others, as they turned a corner, and entered a wide room with doors on both sides.

Falan led into one, as they all followed him in to the quarters for Lee, “Of course, young lady, I will get quarters for you prepared through that door!” he pointed to an interior door. “It locks on the other side, and also has a door to the hall” said Falan, as two guards left to go prepare the room.

“When you are settled, Lee, we can meet in the great hall,” said Rotar.

As they departed, a couple minutes later, there was a knock on the inner door, Lee opening it cautiously, and one of the guards said, “The young lady’s room is ready, if anything else is needed, do not hesitate to ask, as there are guards in the hall”.

The last statement caught Lee’s interest, “Excuse me, Sergeant,” he said “There were no guards in the halls last week, may I ask what changed?”

The guard replied, “Several small incidents make the higher ups think there are security issues, so we are doubling the guards and taking precautions to protect the secret chamber, the library, and the Premier’s family,” with that he left, silently closing the door behind him.

Later, Lee and Trinity sat at a small table, and he started to say something, but Trinity uncommonly interrupted, “Did you see the painting in the hall? The ones on the way here to our rooms?” She asked.

“I did see them, but I did not pay attention to them. Why do you ask?” he responded.

“There was one, with a man’s face, wearing like a hooded cloak like a monk, you know the kind?” Lee nodded yes, “I didn’t look long because I didn’t want to get left behind but something about it I swear I’ve seen before!” Trinity declared.

“That’s very strange, Kiddo, are you sure?” Lee asked.

“I’m sure it caught my attention, as someone I have seen before yes, but it was pretty dark in there,” she replied.

“Do you think you can find it again?” Lee asked. to which Trinity nodded, yes.

“Yes. I can! It’s seven pictures back down the hall” she asserted.

“Come on,” Lee said!as he got up, and they both headed out the door, and into the open space.

“We were wondering if it would be alright to go back down the hall a bit, and look at the paintings?” Lee inquired of the Sergeant.

“Certainly, and if you need to know anything, let me know. Just remember to keep the lowest part of the ceiling on your right, and you will wind up back here,” said the guard.

Lee and Trinity thanked him, and strolled down the hall from whence they had originally come. Lee was looking at the paintings and Trinity had gone ahead a bit and stopped, and she looked completely dumbfounded. Lee walked up and saw her expression, and before looking at the painting said, “What’s up?” He looked up as he asked his niece, and saw the mural was a painting of a field with several knights riding across it.

“I don’t understand,” said Trinity going to the next, and then the next painting. “This can’t be! These are not what I saw on the way in!”

Lee studied the paintings and said, “I do not doubt you, Kiddo, something is weird here. Let’s go back, and see what we can learn,” said Lee. They made their way back, and Lee stopped and asked the Sergeant about the paintings, and saw the man frown and he looked a bit intimidated as he answered, “I’ve been told they were painted long ago, by wizards and sages. Back before such folk were put out of the fortress, for trying to influence decisions made by the Premiers. I don’t look at them much, they always seem to change. Do not laugh! I’ve seen it with my own eyes. One minute a tree or lake scene, the next a battle”. The guard shifted on his feet nervously, “I do not speak around them, I feel they are watching and listening. I know it’s a wild tale, but that’s my feeling about the paintings on the eastern tunnel wall,” he said.

Lee thanked the guard, and he and Trinity retired to their lodgings for a bit.

“Ok, so what did we learn?” asked Lee. “You see a painting of someone that looked familiar. We go back, and the painting is no longer there, or has been swapped out. Why?” he asked.

Trinity looked thoughtful, but puzzled, and shook her head, “I wish I could place what looked so familiar about it, but I only glanced at it. Maybe tomorrow will give me us some more clues, as we get to see more of the fortress. We are going to see more, aren’t we?” She asked.

Lee nodded in the affirmative, “Yes, we are, I want to see as much as we can. We need to know what goes on here and why, before we can make a decision on how to act. Are you still up for this? It’s going to get very boring for you, if I am stuck with the Premier and his family,” he replied.

Trinity nodded, “Yes, I’m ready and want to help figure this out. I’m sure I can help in some way,” she replied, “Can we go outside in open space? I’d like to practice outdoors, but privately, if I can?” she asked.

“From what I gather, Kiddo, we can go anyplace we want, and I know they have several places for sword practice, solitary or with partners. I’ll make sure you are granted access in the morning, till then, off to bed. I need to think and rest myself”, answered her Uncle Lee.

“Goodnight,” saluted Trinity, and went into her quarters.

Lee went over the events of the past few days, and tried to see a pattern which would help him figure the best course of action, for them to take. “It is obvious that Elena will have to come through the portal, and to the fortress,” thought Lee, “but there are still many questions to be answered first, like when? Is it safe? How long would it take? Who comes with her? Can the war be ended just by her sitting in some seat? And reading the correct verses?” Lee laid back on his bunk, arms behind his head, staring at the ceiling, and fell asleep pondering these and many more questions.

Lee was awakened by a tap at his door. He got up and answered, to find a servant with breakfast for him and Trinity.

“Should I wake the young lady by her door sir, or is leaving it here ok?” asked the servant.

“Here is fine, and thank you!” Lee replied, taking the large breakfast tray full of fruits, bread, eggs and thick slices of bacon. Before Lee ate, or woke Trinity, he showered, dressed in his woodsman’s outfit, and then tapped on the adjoining door calling out “If you’re hungry, Kiddo, you better hop to it before I eat everything!”

He heard muttering and grumbling about it being so early, and walked off laughing to himself. Trinity came out shortly, and sat and ate some breakfast.

“Take your time. I have to meet Rotar and Falan this morning, and make a few arrangements. It will only take 30-40 minutes, I reckon, then I’ll come back and we can take you to where you can practice. Now don’t forget, I will need you later to poke around the outer chamber hall, while I am talking to the Premier,” said Lee.

“Ok, Unc, that will give me time to do a few things I need to do, but I will be here when you come back,” replied Trinity.

Lee reminded her, “Don’t go far, Kiddo, until we get a better feel for the place. It’s easy to get turned around in here,” as he was walking out the door, closing it behind him.

Trinity waited till Lee was gone, ate a few more pieces of fruit and bacon, and then went to her room, showered and got dressed, to include her knives and cloak, then she headed out the door. She smiled at the guard, as she walked past him, on her way back to the pictures on the wall in the passage. Once there, Trinity leaned against the opposite wall, and stared at the painting she was sure was the one that caught her attention at first, and she waited.

It suddenly dawned on her what the painting was; a dim lit room, with what looked like a throne made from tree roots coming up out of the ground and wall. There was a woman, dressed in shiny green leather armor, sparkling in the candle light and glowing with some other sort of light, while she held two blades, one dripping blood, the other blade parrying a sword blade, as she fought with two big creatures. There were others fighting in the chamber, but Trinity’s eyes were drawn to the woman, who looked remarkably like someone she knew well. The woman looked like her Aunt Elena, and there was a young girl on the throne, she had her eyes closed, and looked limp, as if she was sleeping, but there was a red glow emitting from her, and the throne around her. There was a book in her lap, with pages open. Trinity was stunned to see that the girl in the chair looked like her sister ‘Lena, or her twin! Trinity was stunned! She was suddenly snapped out of her staring, however, startled by a voice out of the dark hallway, farther down, “Hello, I see the paintings interest you,” the voice said, “Allow me to tell you about them, if I may”.

Trinity was instantly on alert, something about the voice made her sense of danger alarms ring in her head, and she slid a hand up behind her, gripping one of her blades, the movement hidden under her cloak.

“Oh, Hi, I did not see you or hear you walking up? Where did you come from? and who are you?” she asked cautiously.

“I am Trendar,” the voice replied, as the figure moved closer up the hall, “My apologies for being silent. It’s a habit I learned long ago, and I still find myself doing it,” he said.

Trinity knew something was off about this person, her senses told her that, but she was willing to listen to what he had to say about the painting. “The painting!!???” Her mine was screaming at her inwardly. It had changed to a different scene! Now it looked like monks, or at least people dressed like them, were being forced out of the fortress by armed men.

Trendar looked at the painting, and then the young woman, “Ah, the reckoning. This was when the wizards and sages finally overstepped their bounds, and were forced out into the wilds,” he explained. “It was a bad time for all, but the wizards and sages more than most, unable to find food or shelter, as it was winter, most wandered and were lost forever. Too bad really, they were not all bad and had uses, but paranoid men make powerful enemies. Funny you should stop at this particular painting, Young Lady, For it is called the “telling” painting, you have undoubtedly seen that it changes, they all do. But this painting when it changes, only reveals truths. It is said that it shows who is true, who is false, and reveals past and future events. Have you seen anything interesting in it?” He turned to face her, his voice changing to a bit more urgent tone, and Trinity at once recognized the man in front of her, as the same man she saw in the painting on the way in.

Trinity answered hesitantly, “Not really, it’s just interesting in the fact that I’m an artist myself, and seeing different styles interests me”.

Trendar looked at her for a few seconds more in silence, and her hand gripped her blade handle tighter, but then he said, “My apologies, I never got your name, it’s so rare we have visitors here, and I tend to ramble without thinking,” he said with expectation.

Trinity said, “My name is Trinity, I came with Lee, and we are friends of Rotar and Falan, and I do not wish to be rude, but I am late getting back. Thank you for explaining the painting, it was interesting,” Trinity turned, and walked back up the hall not looking back, but could feel his eyes staring at her, until she rounded the corner. Trendar glanced at the painting, then back down the hall as he retraced his steps until he came to a candle, pulled its handle and slipped inside the passage that opened.

Trinity went back to her room, and locked the hall door. She was a bit mad at herself, because she realized she was actually frightened for a few minutes. “I just need to go practice, and work on some things, that’s all,” she griped as she began to calm herself and focus on what she saw, and what she was told.

As Lee was returning, he came back up the same hall, and heard a voice like Trendar’s, so he stopped and waited in the shadows around the corner, listening.

“You will do as you are commanded! Take this vial, and pour it in the Royal Family’s noon drink! Now go! And you can be thankful I do not think of some other punishment for your family’s past failures!”.

Lee heard a muttered, “Yes, Cailleach,” and then heard footsteps approaching, so he slipped back down the hall to an intersection, and ducked in one. A couple seconds later a figure passed, and Lee followed it up the passage and as it entered the dining hall, the figure passed a guard and smiled “Almost time to eat, Eh?”

Lee recognized him as a cook’s assistant, as he went into the kitchen, Lee quickly grabbed the guard, “Listen, that guy is going to poison the Royal Family! Summon help! And hurry! We must catch him in the act so we can find out who sent him!” he urged.

The guard looked a bit concerned, but had seen Lee before with the Royal Family and also Rotar and Falan, so he pulled a cord to summon his Sergeant, who immediately came in from another room. All was explained, and Lee and the Sergeant watched the cook’s assistant through one of the serving slots, and so far he was unable to get to the drink dispenser, the guard was sent to fetch the royal guards, and bumped into Rotar instead, he was filled in, and hurried to the dining hall, as the guard continued. Rotar joined the Sergeant and Lee, and they all soon saw cook’s assistant take a blue bottle out of his waist band, glancing around surreptitiously. As he approached the drinks, Rotar, the Sergeant and Lee all three, burst in the room, and grabbed him before he could pour the contents into the drinks!

Several minutes later in a side room, the assistant was bound secure in a chair, and was being questioned by the Premier, and his Chief of Security. Lee left to go meet with Trinity, and tell her all of what had occurred, and apologize for taking longer than expected. But, as he was leaving, he again saw Trendar slipping away down the hall. Moving very much as if he did not want to be noticed, causing Lee to remember the voice he heard. Could the voice he heard have been Trendar?

Lee went in his room, closed the door behind him and knocked on Trinity’s door, which she immediately opened, “Oh my gosh! I got stuff to tell you, Uncle Lee!!” she exclaimed.

Lee held a hand over her mouth for a second and whispered “Not here,” and then said in a normal voice, “I apologize for being late. I got held up longer than expected, the good news is that you and I both have free reign of the entire fortress, without escort. Now if you are ready, we can go and I’ll show you the practice area”.

“Oh, it’s ok! I got a couple things done while you were away, and yes, I’m ready! I need to practice, and feel some sun on me!”, responded Trinity in her normal sunny manner.

They left the room through Trinity’s door, and Lee led her through several winding turns and twists, explaining along the way, “They built it this way to confuse any enemy that might get inside. They could wander for hours if they did not know the correct way,” as they exited a door into a courtyard, which had several practice dummies, along with swords, spears, shields, bows and other weapons in racks around the perimeter.

Lee went and sat in an alcove to give her space, and only occasionally glanced up to see how she was progressing. Lee was joined by a Treslander, he had not met, who introduced himself as Jondar, the head instructor for new recruits, in service of the Premier. Lee took an immediate liking to the friendly, confidant way Jondar spoke and held himself. He was watching Trinity spin and strike a dummy in the thighs, with two practice mid length blades, and then tuck and roll backwards, springing up and twisting and then stabbing a different dummy in the chest, while slinging her other blade into the chest of a third. “That young lady has talent!” he remarked, “Are all taught how to fight like that where you are from?” he asked, and then quickly said, “Wait don’t answer! I do not want you to think I’m prying, or gathering information!” he quickly interjected.

Lee smiled, “It’s ok! I spoke to Rotar and Falan, who both trust you, so I think I can trust you, as well. The answer is, I’m not sure how many are. Each family raises their children how they see fit. Some teach them to be strong, and show them how to take care of themselves, some don’t. Others, like that young lady, her parents taught her both how to be a girl, and also how to defend herself, but I believe as far as her blade skills, she has taught herself those”.

Jondar was even more impressed when he heard that she was self taught, “No formal training at all?? That’s amazing.” he said in amazement. “She moves like some of the ancient fighters we have in legend, back when there were supposedly dragons, and such, if you believe in those things,” he continued. “Do you think she would take a bit of instruction from an old teacher like me? I’ve spotted a ‘tell’ before she attacks”

Lee replied, “The dip of the blade towards her center? I saw it too, and to answer your question, I do not know, let’s ask. Trinity?” he said loud enough to get her attention, “Come meet a friend when you can spare a moment!”

Trinity went through her practice routine quick but efficiently, feeling her muscles work and limber up, as she attacked and parred from different angles and sides. She mentally worked on speed, but accuracy in the blows, striking vital joints and nerve bundles, to incapacitate or disarm before striking a killing blow. She took a short break to go over by her Uncle Lee and meet this “friend” greeting him with a simple “Hi”and quick wave to the stranger, as she plopped into an adjacent chair.

Lee introduced her, “Trinity, this is Jondar, he is a friend of Rotar and Falan, and he is also the head blade instructor for the Premier’s recruits.” Jondar stood and bowed, arm across his chest, as he was introduced, “At your service, my lady! You have an abundance of talent with a blade, and Lee tells me you are self taught! That’s incredible,” Jondar greeted her energetically.

Trinity flush from the exertion of the training said, “Well, thank you! It’s nice to meet you, and yes, Sir. I learned all I know by teaching myself, trial and error,” she shrugged. Trinity poured a glass of water from the jug on the table, and was drinking as Lee said, “Jondar has spotted something in your attack, that If were noticed by a combatant early enough, may lead to you getting the short end of the stick,” to which Trinity raised an eyebrow as she was drinking.

Jondar offered, “Not a critique, just an observation from years of watching and teaching. If you would allow me to show you, I think with your ability, you would correct it pretty quickly”.

Trinity looked at her uncle and then Jondar and grinned gamely, “I’m always willing to learn more! So, yes! Please show me what it is, and I will try and work on it.”

Jondar stood and smiled, “Good! That’s the spirit I wish we had more of around here!”as he walked to a rack drawing a practice sword, and a very short knife. Lee noticed Jondar had a very slight limp, that he would later learn was one of many injuries the highly decorated soldier had obtained in battle, before he was made chief instructor.

Lee watched the scene as the two squared off. “You have speed and flexibility on your side, said Jondar, “Use it to your advantage. Most here fight with short swords, and they may be lighter, but they also take time to change direction. In a battle, tenths of seconds can mean the difference in being cut or not”.

Lee admired Jondar instructing Trinity as they sparred. He could instantly tell this man was a very good teacher, and knew how to impart the wisdom if the student was willing to learn.

Trinity was warily sizing up Jondar, as they circled. He was a big man and yet moved lightly on his feet, always seemingly in balance. She did pick up on the slight limp and stored that in her head. She suddenly made a move to attack, feinting to the left side, and seeing the normal reaction of Jondar’s sword starting to move, but she instead stopped that attack, and spun her whole body around, bringing both swords around to the right side. To her surprise, Jondar had moved back out of her reach, and she missed striking him at all. Astutely, instead of leaving herself open for attack, she followed through the spin, diving and rolling and then springing back up on her feet, before he could adjust his attack.

“Splendid!” Jondar exclaimed. “Ok, now face me, and attack. Let me see if I can show you the small thing I saw”.

Trinity faced him with one sword held low and the other angled up, and across her body, as she watched for an opening. She saw him lean his weight on the side of the limp, and she lunged, at which point he swept her sword out and away from his body with his sword. Then swiftly pulled her past him, striking her side with the short knife, as she tumbled and rolled back up again, facing him with speed.

Jondar smiled at her, and nodded “Again,”and again Trinity tried to attack him, and each time, it was as if he knew what she was going to do, before she did it. Trinity was not getting frustrated, but she was getting confused as to how he could know, and finally, Jondar said, “I have to hand it to you, young lady, you have struck me more times in this short match, than I can remember being struck in months of teaching, but now let’s take a break, and then I will show you what I found”.

They both returned to the table by Lee, and sat and drank an abundance of cool refreshing water. “How was that, Kiddo?” Lee asked.

Trinity drank her water, and said “Confusing! I mean it seemed like every attack I tried, he knew I was coming!”

Lee asked “So, what does that tell you?”

Trinity just shook her head, “I have no idea!”

“Allow me to explain if I may,” Jondar said. Lee and I noticed something when you were practicing, which did two things for me. One told me that Lee is a very observant person, for it was very very subtle, and two, told me when you were going to attack”.

Trinity again looked confused, “I don’t understand? What is it I do that tells you I’m going to attack??” She asked exasperatedly.

“Easier to show you. One more demonstration?” Jondar asked.

Trinity exclaimed “Yes!” getting up and following Jondar to a practice dummy.

“Put your guards up like you are going to attack, and hold them there,” said Jondar. Lee was curious how he was going to demonstrate such a subtle move to Trinity, as it’s barely perceptible. Jondar watched Trinity move to one of her guard poses, and he took two thin pointed rods, and stuck them at the points of the swords, and Trinity started to move, “No, don’t move. Hold that guard position!” Jondar said. Trinity resumed the position and Jondar moved behind her, and said “Now, when you are ready, attack, but don’t knock my pointers over”.

Trinity tried several different guard positions, and each time she set up, Jondar would put the pointers at the ends of her blades, and each time she attacked, she would knock one or the other, or both over as her attack started. “Do you see it yet?” Jondar asked, “It’s very subtle, but it’s there on every attack,” and Trinity started to see what he meant. Her blades moved almost imperceptibly, as she started her attack.

She was astounded that anyone could notice it, as it was such a minute move, “How on earth did you see that?” she asked both of them. “I had no idea I was even doing it”.

Jondar answered “Any time you can watch a possible opponent, you should look for weakness, your ‘tell’ was the only thing I could see that would give me an advantage. Now that you know of it, you can work to eliminate it”.

Trinity practiced several hours more, while Lee and Jondar talked about old tales, both here and on the other side of the portal. They talked about weapons, and wars, and soldiers, and Lee learned that there was a legend of an archer, “the Bevan” who would bring several chosen people through the portal. There would be a huge battle, and the fortress would be breached, but in the end, the words would be spoken, and the planet would heal itself, swallowing up the evil.

Jondar eventually got up to leave, and said “I, with your permission, will send an outfit for her to her room. She needs leather protection while here. It can be worn under her cloak, as it is often done, and she deserves it. Anyone that can get through my defenses that many times, deserves a prize”.

Lee stood and shook his hand, and Jondar said “There are stories of another female warrior with skills such as your niece Trinity’s, but she has not been seen in a long time. I’ll have the leather made after that fashion, it suits her,” and with the warrior left, and Lee stared at his back, and then at Trinity, thoughtfully as she was finishing up decapitating a dummy with a swiping blow, and a giggle “Whoops!”

Later that evening, Lee and Trinity were discussing the days events, and she told him everything that happened earlier, to include meeting that “creepy” Trendar person, and swearing it was his face in the painting, and that she had seen him before, back at home but how that’s possible, she really could not say. There was a knock at the door, and Lee answered, and was handed a package of clothes as he smiled, “That was fast, Jondar!”he said out loud, as he turned to Trinity, “These are for you! Seems you impressed the instructor. He felt you needed leather armor and an outfit while you are here”.

Trinity took the bundle and said “Seriously? Not really my style to wear leather.”

Lee laughed, “I said I’d give it to you, I did not say you would wear it”. They talked a few more minutes, and then each retired for the night.

Early the next morning after breakfast, Lee and Trinity headed to the great hall. Lee did not chide her for wearing the leather armor vest, dark tan, slightly reddish in color, adorned with black round discs made to stop sharp objects, shin guards and forearm guards, that were given to her by Jondar, but he did ask “Why the change of mind about the outfit, “Kiddo?”

“Not really sure. It’s funny, I thought it was too small, but now it fits like perfect. Will take a little getting used to, but it’s light, and my cloak covers it. Besides, it reminds me of the one I saw in the painting, to be honest, except that one was green”.

“We are going to the great hall I told you about. I’ll be stuck talking with the Premier, so while I’m in there, you look around, especially at that mural. See what you can find,” Lee said. Lee and Trinity both were surprised, that when they passed a guard, he would snap to attention upon seeing the outfit she was wearing. “Looks like that suit must represent something special, Kiddo!” Lee joked.

As they entered the great hall, the two Premier guards snapped to attention, and Rotar and Falan both bowed with their arms across their chests, “Welcome, Lee and Trinity! I see you are wearing the armor of the ‘Lost Defenders’. It has been ages since Jondar awarded that to anyone! Besides showing a warriors prowess, it means you show great skill, and the willingness to learn. In the fortress you can come and go as you please, and answer to only the Premier, if he so needs,” said Rotar with respect in his voice. “And Bevan, your catching of the traitor has lead to many other spies being found out, and we are still looking for the others, you too, of course have free passage in, and to and from, the fortress. We are in your debt, but now we must go and make plans with the Premier. Come, Lee and you also, Trinity if you wish,” he said.

“Thank you, no” answered Trinity, “I think I would rather stay and look at the paintings, and see what else I can find of interest, if that’s, Ok?”

“As you wish, my lady, ring any bell you see anywhere, if you need anything at all,” replied Rotar.

As they turned to go, Lee looked at Trinity and said in almost a whisper, “Stay on your guard, and out of mischief,” and he followed them into the other chamber.

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faith family Life Love nature outdoors

Lightening Bugs and Whip-poor-wills

🥰
For me it’s the beanie!

Peach here-

How are y’all doing? We hope life is treating you good!

Tonight we had a little bit of porch sitting! First lightening bugs of the season! I just love all the glitter they make, sparkling here, and sparkling there. So lovely!

Then there were the wonderful Whip-poor-wills! Even a peacock or two!

Fun fact – Other than a one year stint I have never lived away from the sound of peacocks!

Being able to walk outside, take in the flowers, have a sit in the evening, have the occasional bonfire a few times a year, see and hear the wind in the leaves of the trees, watch Ole Glory wave in the wind on a summer evening, or a blustery day…these things matter to me more than I can explain.

I am obsessed with our hibiscus!! They make me so happy!

Just going outside for a few minutes a few times a day is such a treat. My heart doesn’t understand how people who are surrounded by skyscrapers can get by like that. I know there is a different energy and benefit there. But, I would be lost.

Grateful for where the Good Lord planted us. There’s a verse I like in a favorite Psalm of mine. It comes from Psalm 16, which is just a short but powerful psalm.

“The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance” —
Psalm 16:6, NKJV
. I often tell the Lord this verse, ‘The boundary lines You have given me are good, Lord, they have fallen in pleasant places! I have a good inheritance! We have a good inheritance! The life You have given us us good! It’s better than we knew how to do on our own! Thank You, Father! For everything!’

That’s all I have tonight! Just grateful for my Batman! Grateful for our porch sitting time! Grateful for lightening bugs and Whip-poor-wills! Grateful for our wonderful sons, and daughters In loves, beautiful and handsome grandchildren, sweet, sweet siblings, and their spouses, nieces and nephews!

Oh! That reminds me! Batman got the honor to help a nephew get his tie just right for his prom date tonight!! So sweet to see!

I got to see him be born!! It was a first for me so it was a big deal!! where does the time go?!

Melting my heart! 🥰

Before you go to bed, I hope you can step outside and look up at the night sky, feel the night air! It’s just good for your soul!

Good Night, Everyone!

Sweet Dreams!

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Choices

“…I PLEAD WITH YOU TO WALK holy, IN A WAY THAT IS SUITABLE TO YOUR HIGH RANK, given to you in your divine calling. WITH TENDER HUMILITY AND QUIET PATIENCE ALWAYS DEMONSTRATE GENTLENESS AND GENEROUS LOVE TOWARD ONE ANOTHER, especially toward those who may try your patience. BE FAITHFUL TO GUARD THE SWEET HARMONY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AMONG YOU in the bonds of peace…” — Ephesians 4:1b-3

Peach says:

A wise woman who I miss very much, taught me when I was very young, that when we become elderly, and are at or near the finish line, we can at times, become sort of caricatures of ourselves, depending on the choices we make in our lives.

Sometimes, as the end is in sight, we may not have all the strength of our reasoning in its normal state. Our reasoning, or our governing of ourselves, I should say, may be a bit relaxed or off balance from in our younger days.

Whatever we have fed in our lives may end up holding the larger sway. All the more reason to each day, walk in the Spirit, because when we do, then we do not “fulfill the lusts of the flesh”, Galatians 5:16b, as each decision makes a path in our heart and in our mind. The Word tells us, to not to be “conformed to this world” but instead to be “transformed by the renewing” of our mind (Romans 12:2).

The wise woman I knew, she worked in healthcare, and had seen a lot of this latter stage of life for people, who were not feeling themselves. It was a cautionary tale for sure.

I guess I have had some cause to think about the culmination of the daily little choices we make, and what those choices do to us in the inside of us, the most real part of us. Those things we choose to think about, and either appreciate or fester over. I don’t want to be one who festers. I want to be one who appreciates. The sunshine, my husband, our good health, our children and grandchildren, our siblings, that we have had good parents, greatest of all our salvation and relationship with Jesus!

I don’t want to waste time on the real (hurts) or imagined (worries). I want to process them, somewhat like laundry, learn from them, forgive myself or others, give it to Jesus, move on. —“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, [once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” — 1 Peter 5:7

I know some hurts are monumental, and it’s easy to say. “But, you don’t know how badly they have hurt me” and to that, I say you are right. But, I also know you deserve to live and love, and enjoy what is here right now. Don’t let them rob you, not one more day. Not one more minute.

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this ONE THING I do, FORGETTING THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEHIND, and REACHING FORTH unto THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE BEFORE, I PRESS TOWARD THE MARK for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” — Philippians 3:13-14

Love either near (those in your now circle) or from afar (those in your past), pray for them all, every day, but that doesn’t mean they get to sit in prime real estate in your head carving their initials. Evict them from your heart, as well as the well rehearsed pain.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are TRUE, whatsoever things are HONEST, whatsoever things are JUST, whatsoever things are PURE, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are of GOOD REPORT; if there be any VIRTUE, and if there be ANY PRAISE, THINK ON THESE THINGS.” — Philippians 4:8

Remember, our Father God sees our end from our beginning (Isaiah 46:10) He has good for us, if we will accompany Him to the future He has yet ahead for us!

This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. BUT THEN I WILL COME TO YOU AND DO FOR YOU ALL THE GOOD THINGS I HAVE PROMISED, and I will bring you home again. For I KNOW THE PLANS I HAVE FOR YOU,” says the Lord. “They are PLANS FOR GOOD AND NOT FOR DISASTER, TO GIVE YOU A FUTURE AND A HOPE. In those days when you pray, I will listen. IF YOU LOOK FOR ME WHOLEHEARTEDLY, YOU WILL FIND ME. I WILL BE FOUND BY YOU,” says the Lord. “I WILL end your captivity and RESTORE YOUR FORTUNES.” — Jeremiah 29:10-14

What inspired this? The passing of time, the loss of relationships, the finality of the passing of a good and precious life and the vacuum that has made. The choices we who remain make now, to hopefully live leaving a trail of love, hope, joy, affirmation, faith, and much grace, for our loved ones to follow. May our trail be clear, filled with good things to help them along their way!! — “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” — 1 Corinthians 11:1

Thank you for stopping in!! It means so much to share these thoughts in hopes it might encourage you along your way!!

I leave you with the closing of a favorite poem of mine, by Robert Frost, who I so enjoy!

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

Love, Peach

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